We spent a lot of time in the
days weeks months heading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, doing our best to analyze the available players we thought would be around when the Philadelphia Eagles picked at No. 22. Name, after name, after name.
And then, well, welcome to Philadelphia, Marcus Smith.
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly shocked pretty much everyone with the selection of Louisville defensive end/outside linebacker Marcus Smith in the first round (pick No. 26 after a trade with the Cleveland Browns). Smith was not on many lists for the first-round choice. Heck, he wasn’t on many lists for the second round. Check out Mel Kiper Jr.’s final two-round mock draft. I’ll save you some time. Marcus Smith isn’t on it.
That’s not to say he isn’t a quality player, but while Mel Kiper Jr. is an “expert” he’s also not a member of any professional football front office. Due respect to him, but there are probably reasons for that.
Still, it is slightly disturbing to open up Smith’s player profile on ESPN and see the “scouts grade” at 70. For reference, Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, a player who would have been available to the Eagles at No. 22, had a 92 grade and was listed as the 12th best athlete in the entire draft. Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, who the Eagles took in the second round, scored an 83.
That doesn’t really look good, but there also wasn’t a lot of hype around Smith. More hype leads to more analysis. In terms of what ESPN has available, there is very little on Smith. Take a look at his player profile. They list what jersey he wore in 2010 and what he majored in at Vanderbilt under his intangibles. I dare you to find another first-round selection with such trivial information filling space.
Smith is listed as average in every position measurement ESPN has, but the details they use to reach those conclusions don’t seem overly in depth.
The one thing we do know is Roseman and Kelly do their homework. That’s not to say they can’t be wrong, I do trust that they have better information, better reports, better analysis than anything we or the likes of Mel Kiper Jr. have at their disposal.
Time will tell on Marcus Smith. I, for one, am willing to wait.